The world’s threatened deer species

The World Union of Conservation Scientists, commonly known as the I.U.C.N. lists all threatened species and subspecies, and classifies them in relation to how threatened they are. The classification used in order of severity is as follows: Not threatened, conservation dependent. Vulnerable. Endangered. Critically endangered. Extinct in the wild. Extinct. These classification give an indication of the likelihood of a species becoming extinct in the near future. The following table lists those deer species which are classified as being threatened with extinction by the I.U.C.N. and to which group they belong.

Critically endangered

Pére David’s Deer Elaphurus davidianus


Calamian Deer Axis calamiansis
Kuhl’s Deer Axis kuhlii
Philippine Spotted Deer Cervus alfredi
Sika Deer (some subspecies) Cervus Nippon
Mesophatanian Fallow Deer Dama mesopotamica
South Andean Deer Hippocamelus bisulcus


Marsh Deer Blastocerus dichotomus
White Lipped Deer Cervus albirostis
Barasingha Cervus duavauceli
Thamin Cervus eldi
The Black Muntjac Muntiacus crinifrons
Southern Pudu Pudu pudu

Low risk, not threatened

Elk Alces alces
Chinese Water Deer Hydropotes inermis
Northern Pudu Pudu mephistopheles

Data deficient

Philippine Sambar Cervus mariannus
Hog Deer Cervus porcinus
Tufted Deer Elaphodus cephalophus
North Andean Deer Hippocamelus antisensis
Red Brocket Mazama Americana
Dwarf Brocket Deer Mazama chunyi
Brown Brocket Deer Mazama gouzoubira
Pygmy Brocket Mazama nana
Yucatan Brown Brocket Mazama pandora
Giant Muntjac Megamuntiacus vuquangensis
Fea’s Muntjac Muntiacus feae
The Gongshan Muntjac Muntiacus gongshanensis
The Leaf Deer or Leaf Muntjac Muntiacus putaoensis
Truong Son Muntjac Muntiacus truongsonensis


Schomburgh’s Deer Cervus schomburgki

As can be seen just under half the deer species are at some kind of risk of becoming extinct. Also worrying is that the status of many species is unclear or unknown due to a lack of information and research and these species are listed as being data deficient. As can be seen by looking at the above table, most of the threatened deer species come from tropical parts of the world, and most live in tropical forests of one kind of another. These species are obviously at threat because the forests that make up their natural home are themselves threatened with deforestation.

In some species some of the subspecies are endangered or threatened and while others are not, such as in the Sika Deer, in this table subspecies are not considered and species are dealt with as a whoole. for more detailed information please visit the IUCN website.


© Mark Walker 2005